Review Liner socks

REVIEW: Liner socks

Before I went on my first long hike I have to admit I was scared about my feet. I didn’t know how they would be able to handle long journeys. Blisters are a common problem, but I get them even when I have completely broken in a pair of shoes or boots. It’s a huge pain, no pun intended.

I scoured the internet for solutions to blisters and I found that liner socks were a good fit for many. Why not, I thought and picked up a pair from my local SAIL store.

Product

Lorpen Innovative Technical Socks Outdoor & Mountaineering T2 liner.

Lorpen Liner Sock review

Specs

These are 75% merino wool, 15% Nylon and 10% LYCRA (a synthetic elastic fibre)

The packaging boasts that this sock improves the warmth performance and wicking properties of your socks. It can be worn for daily use or used as a liner sock in spring, fall and winter.

I purchased a small, crew cut pair.

Tested

The first time I wore these was on a 20km hike that had both dry and wet parts of the trail. The socks were tested in spring when it was wet out but the snow had disappeared.

They held up great and I barely noticed that they were there. What I did notice what that I wasn’t getting blisters, so high-five for that.

Pros

  • Added warmth;
  • Did not go between my toes (I don’t like that feeling);
  • Kept my feet dry, especially from sweat;
  • No blisters on the usual areas (pinky toe and heels). This is such a big pro for me. I have a terrible time with shoes. While my hiking boots are broken in, I wanted to make sure that these guys wouldn’t give me anything to worry about, and they lived up to that; and
  • There are no seams at the toes, which means no irritation!

Cons

  • I did get a small, nonpainful blister on the bottom of my pinky toe, where I’ve actually never had a blister before. I’m not sure if the sock contributed to that or not.
  • They are not as soft as I thought they would be.

Price

I purchased these for $10.99CAD at SAIL, which is pretty reasonable for liner socks.

Final thoughts

While there are many options out there for liner socks, these kept my warm, dry and blister free. And really, that’s all I ask for.

How do you protect your feet during long hikes? What do you use liner socks for?

Whats in my Day Pack

What’s in my day pack?

Packing for a day hike is relatively simple. You got your essentials: Water, food, insulation, sun protection, etc. Here’s my take on the simple daypack for local hikes:

My pack is a hand-me-down from my dad. It’s an Arc’teryx that he purchased when he was training for an adventure race. I’m in the market for a new one but haven’t decided yet what to purchase. Until then, this little guy works perfectly.

Navigation

Map and rain sleeve. The rain sleeve is perfect. Not only does it keep the map dry, but it also clips on the front of my bag, meaning the map is always within reach and I’ll never lose it.

Compass. This thing comes with me everywhere. If you don’t know how to use a compass, I highly suggest learning. It’s a great tool to have in case you get turned around. I also thinking that knowing your directions, even loosely is important! If you’re more comfortable with a GPS, bring that along too, just make sure it is all charged up.

Protection from elements

Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, lip balm all for obvious reasons.

Buff. I usually carry both my buffs. They are great for keeping your neck warm or protected from the sun. I also use them as headbands or keeping my forehead from being burnt to a crisp in that sun!

I have a fleece sweater that I wear or bring with me if I know it is going to be cold.

Hiking essentials

Knife. Great for cutting into yummy oranges or other great general uses.

Headlamp. There have been many times I’ve needed illumination, even in the middle of the day! It’s great for geocaching.

Camera Gear

I always pack my trusty side-kick, my Canon 60D. I’ve had this camera since 2011. Along with the 18-200mm lens, it’s not exactly light weight, but it’s trusty and I like it.

I also pack a Sony ActionCam and my iPhone6.

 

What's in my hiking pay pack - my wandering voyage

Miscellaneous

  • Some duct tape for more poor feet.
  • First Aid Kid
  • Hiking log and pens. Don’t forget to check out my post on hiking logs!
  • Electrolyte tabs
  • Trekking poles
Camping should be a part of your Canadian summer - My Wandering Voyage

Camping should be a part of your Canadian summer

Camping is the quintessential Canadian summer activity. Some may choose to go to the cottage, trailer, or rock the stay-cation, but camping has always been such an important part of my summer.

We here in southern Ontario only have 15 weeks of summer, from the unofficial start of summer on the May 24 long weekend to the end of Labour Day weekend in September. We cross our fingers it doesn’t snow because that has happened before (Aug. 2015 in Calgary for instance).

 

Presqu'ile Provincial Park looking out the tent window

That’s under 30 per cent of the year. Of those 105 days, only 36 are weekends/holidays.

I try to make the most of those precious summer weekends outdoors. Aka: camping.

Here are five reasons why you should make camping an integral part of your summer, whether Canadian or not:

Family, friend or me time

Whether you camp alone, with friends, or with family, it is a time to step away from the normality of regular life and relax.

Being outdoors or cuddling up to a campfire are perfect ways to unwind. Let your mind go and just reflect.

Camping can be time to reconnect with friends and family. It can also let you reconnect with yourself.

Presqu'ile Provincial Park Camping in Canadian Summer under stars - My Wandering Voyage

Exploration

Camping lets you explore your own backyard, a nearby campground, a provincial park, or even the backcountry.

Look at the map of the area before you go. I try to conquer the most I can in one trip because you never know when you’ll be back. Look for trails, points of interest, geocaches and more. Life seems to open up when you go out and explore.

Try bringing along your hiking boots or even a bicycle for those wonderful trails.

Nature

I really do need to state the obvious. Camping is a way to reconnect with nature. I mean, take the ritual of packing up your belongings to go set up somewhere else to call home for a few days. It’s very nomadic.

Camping doesn’t even have to be very far away from your house. In Ontario, we have 334 provincial parks, 295 conservation areas and five national parks to choose from.

Camping can bring on a new-found appreciation for the wild. You may even discover a new species of flora or even spot some amazing wildlife.

Affordability

Of all the options for overnighting in a new place, camping is by far the cheapest. Prices range at Ontario parks depending on your needs. Add the cost of gas and food, it still doesn’t put too much strain on the wallet.

Memories

The best part of camping is the memories made. From jokes shared by friends, experiences shared by family or the vista you keep all to yourself, memories made on a camping trip last a lifetime.

secret log beach

I recently returned from a trip where I had the honour of making three new friends.On that trip, we were looking for geocaches and came across this amazing peninsula that looked as if it was a tropical beach. Stunning.  

 

What is your favourite camping memory? Share yours by commenting below.

 

Stay curious,

Olivia

Cowboy post at the Sand Hills

May Favourites – Big adventures across Canada

Favourite Adventure

Needless to say, my seventh road trip across Canada has been my greatest adventure for May. Not only did I get to drive across this beautiful country, but I saw amazing places I had never seen before. Of all the adventures we got ourselves into along the trip, my favourite had to be Dinosaur Provincial Park, in Alberta.

The prairies opened up before us and BAM! We were in the middle of the desert badlands! You could see the different prehistoric eras in the rock and almost picture dinosaurs roaming the valley.

Standing at the rim of the valley, feeling the warm prairie wind, was a humbling experience.

Favourite Things

Accessories for every traveller – Seriously though, that scarf seems handy!

Paracord – A friend made me a purple and grey paracord bracelet, now I think everything needs to be made from paracord!

Episode calendar – Left for a vacation and forgot what episode you were on when you got back? Handy dandy tool right here.

The Bear – Ha! I made the mistake of starting to read this over my camping trip. Terrifying and beautiful.

Favourite Instagram Photos

Beautiful day at Patricia Lake. #Alberta #mountain #adventure #roadtrip

A photo posted by Olivia Rutt (@olirutt) on

Our first geocache coin! @melissatall #geocaching #Banff #parkscanada #mountain

A photo posted by Olivia Rutt (@olirutt) on

Favourite Tune

Stay Curious!

– O

001 Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice: A road trip across central Canada – Part II

In the last post, we covered the ‘Ice’ part of Fire and Ice. Let’s look at the fire. The prairies are not everyone’s favourite place and Saskatchewan gets a lot of flak for being boring and flat. Well, I love Saskatchewan because it’s not flat, it’s not boring, and it’s the land of the living skies. In a word: gorgeous. Here are the remaining highlights from my Grand Cache to Southern Ontario road trip!

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Not to be confused with Drumheller, this UNESCO world heritage site is a natural preserve with abundant fossils and a chance to explore the Alberta Badlands. You can’t see the park from a distance, the landscape is flat. It is hidden from view until you drive around a corner and suddenly you can see everything. You can explore the fossils found here and explore the millions of years of history embedded in the rock. This was a great change after driving in the prairies all day. (We missed the mountains)

Great Sand Hills

The Great Sand Hills Ecological Reserve is not a park, nor is it easily accessible. We had to drive 18km down a freshly graveled road, drive over Texas Gates, and drive on a harder gravel road that suddenly turned onto a sand road! It was insane. We were there right at sunset, and it was beautiful. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Grasslands National Park

Grasslands National Park is the only park to represent the prairie region. It’s made up of two parts. The West Block, which is stunning desert-like grasslands, and the East Block, which features fossils and badlands. We visited the West Block and stayed overnight in the Dark Sky Preserve. I’m going to have to do a whole post just about this one place, because it was amazing. We hiked, geocached, camped, saw the stars, stared down some bison, watched the prairie dogs play, and more. It was great! We got a geocoin for our efforts too!

Lake Superior

After Saskatchewan, we hooked back onto the TransCanada Hwy and just motored through Manitoba and Northern Ontario. We stopped at a few places here and there, but nothing overly special. Lake Superior takes the cake though. I absolutely understand why the Group of Seven loved it up there. Here are some pics of the still-icy waters of Lake superior

South Baymouth

I think I need to move to a harbour town. Everything seems so right. We decided to drive through Manitoulin Island, one of the places I frequented as a child, and take the Chi-cheemaun back. That was a right call.

I was so happy to take yet another road trip across this beautiful country, and I’d be glad to do it again soon. Maybe next time will be to the Canadian Arctic or to the Maritimes. Who knows?

Stay Curious

– O

001 Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice: A road trip across central Canada – Part I

No, this won’t be a five part (so far) novel by George R.R. Martin, but it was the best title to describe our trip. One day we were in four feet of snow, the other we were standing atop of a sand dune. One day we were walking through grasslands, the other we were standing ashore of an ice lake.

While planning this trip – a 4500km journey from Grand Cache to Southern Ontario – I realized that this is my SEVENTH driving trip to and from Alberta (12th if you count flying). Canada is such a beautiful place; I will never get bored of it!

My friend, Melissa, and I took six days to drive the route. Sure, we could have taken a shorter, more direct route, but instead we ticked off some awesome bucket list items and found some geocaches along the way.

So here are my highlights from the trip, in chronological order:

Pyramid Lake

Going through Jasper and Banff National Parks is an obvious choice. I’ve done different routes, but the Icefields Parkway is one of the prettiest drives. Which brings us to our first stop. Pyramid Lake, Pyramid Island, Pyramid Mountain – they can all be found just 5 minutes north of Jasper. I’ve been up a couple of time to the area, and each time it is more beautiful. While we were there, a couple was getting married and the sun was shining on the red mountain.

Athabasca Falls

Another great stop along Icefields Parkway, this well-known waterfall just shows the force of water and what it can do to the surrounding landscape. The waterfall isn’t particularly tall, but it is known for the force and quantity of water that flow through. I’ve been to these falls a couple of times, and I was surprised how much the water flow fluctuates. I’ve seen the water flow over like the river is about to burst, but this time around water was only a trickle in comparison. Yet, the power of water never ceases to enamour me.

Columbia Icefields – Athabasca Glacier

Probably one of the most accessible glaciers, the Athabasca Glacier is just a short walk from the roadside pull out. However, the roadside pull out was closed for the winter (yeah, I know, it’s May). So, unfortunately, with time constraints, we couldn’t walk all the way there, but we had a good stop at our viewpoint. The glacier is gorgeous, but there’s a sad fact that the glacier is receding by 5 metres a year, which is astronomical in term of glaciers.

Peyto Lake

This could constitute as one of our “ice” stops of the trip. Normally, the path to the summit is a short, but steep paved path. The day we were there, we walked through four feet of snow to get to the top. Luckily, because of overuse, the top of the snow had solidified, making an ice bridge only a foot wide. One wrong step and you’re falling into four feet of snow. It was treacherous climbing and treacherous going down, but so worth it. Oh and apparently, I’ve been saying this wrong the whole time! It’s “Pee-toe” not “Pay-toe”.

Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake

Geocaching in Banff

We ended up in Banff for our first overnight. But first, a geocaching extravaganza! We earned our amazing geocoin for completing the Banff geocaching challenge! The challenge took us to Vermillion Lakes, the Hoodoos Trail, and the Fenland Trail. All of which were amazing and beautiful! If you ever go to Banff, hit up the beginner challenge. Next time I go back, I’m going to attempt the intermediate challenge!

Too much ice? Read part two (tomorrow) for the FIRE!

Stay Curious

– O

Sneak Peek at our Woods Canada application

April Favourites – Where the adventures are beginning

Favourite Adventure:

April has been one hell of an adventure. From biking riding, to geocaching, to hiking, to kayaking, to dog sitting, I am taking every advantage of the nice weather! It’s that time in Canada where, even though it is only 10 degrees outside, people are starting to wear t-shirts.

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World

Bucket list to win!

I’ve a big promoter of bucket lists. Since I started writing down the things I have wanted to do – from vague ideas to planned events – I have experienced more than I ever thought I would.

In fact, I love bucket lists so much I was even interviewed about them.

So when Transun is offering a chance to see the Northern Lights by choosing your top three travel destinations, I had to jump at the chance, even if it means choosing only three.

I’ve been lucky enough to live in a country where you can see the northern lights. Especially up North. But I have yet to photograph them. And that is definitely on my bucket list.

Here are my top three travel destinations:

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Hiking Log - Seek

Why Keep a Hiking Log – Free Printable

Who would Lewis and Clark, or Marco Polo, or Ferdinand Magellan be without record keeping. Their discoveries and accomplishments would be lost over time (even though Magellan had someone write for him).

If you like to dream of yourself of as an explorer of the world, like myself, then keeping a log means more than a report. It is a chance to be creative while recording your nature outings. In some cases, like the Bruce Trail, in order to receive badges for end-to-end hikes you must send in your hiking logs.

This summer I have some big plans, including big hiking trips and small geocaching trips, so I don’t want to forget any details. That’s why I’ve started a hiking log. It helps me keep track of the important information, like starting/end points, duration, and observances.

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Explore the Elements

#ExploretheElements

You dont have to tell me twice about entering a photo contest. I love the excuse to peruse old photos and relive favourites. Thankfully, there are some great contests out there, like Explore the Elements contest by Thomas Cook.

To enter is simple, publish four photographs, one for each of the elements – earth, air, fire, and water – then nominate five other bloggers to do the same.

Earth

“Represents the hard, solid objects of the earth Associated with stubbornness, collectiveness , physicality and gravity”

It is hard to explain the Rockies to someone. “A mountain range” doesn’t cut it, nor does “A park in the mountains”. The Rockies is a quintessential Canadian symbol of hardship, exploration, and conservation. From the very first National Park, to the daring modern adventures, Jasper and Banff National Parks are the perfect way to celebrate the meaning of Earth.

Air

“Represents things that grow, expand, and enjoy freedom of movement Associated with will, elusiveness, evasiveness, benevolence, compassion, and wisdom”

There is a reason they say that there is always a breeze on the Prairies; there is something magical about the wide open sky. The Canadian Prairies are probably one of my favourite parts of this country, the crazy weather, the beautiful night skies, and thousands of kilometres for that breeze to whisper through.

Fire

“Represents the energetic, forceful, moving things in the world Associated with security, motivation, desire, intention, and an outgoing spirit”

Fire represents more than just an elements. Its about passion and spirit. These horses on the crest of a hill embodies the spirit of Montana. Hard work, ranch life, and big sky country are written in this photo.

Water

“Represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world Associated with emotion, defensiveness, adaptability, flexibility, suppleness, and magnetism”

The island of Paros in Greece left me breathless. I took this one of my travel buddy Elizabeth while relaxing at the end of our trip. The endless water of an infinity pool and the Mediterranean Sea give a surreal feel.

Now I get to nominate others. Here are five bloggers (and great photographers) that I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with in the past.

Go forth nominees and spread creativity to the world with your great photos (I mean you could win a laptop, a smartphone, a new camera, or a £5,000 travel fund)

Stay Curious,

Olivia